Historical Role of Sufis in Military Endeavors
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This chapter considers examples of prominent Sufis’ military activity in historical events. The chapter examines the roles of Shaykh Arslan Dimashqi and Abu Hasan Shadhili during the Crusades; Najm al-Din Kubra during the Mongol invasion of Central Asia; Aq Shams al-Din and the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453; the martial role of Baba Palangpush and the Naqshbandi Sufi order in Mughal India. This chapter concludes that these depictions, though based to some degree on hagiographical and semi-historical sources, confirm that Sufis were often mujahids during times of war, which accords with the understanding of jihad premodern Sufi texts propound.